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Visual fundraising tracking - a fundraising thermometer alternative

fundraising thermometer alternative

Fundraising thermometers have been a popular tool in fundraising offices and charities for years. Why? It's simple really - they help us to understand our progress against a target. A large majority of people are visual learners, so seeing how we're doing helps to keep us motivated.

The question is, why do we use a thermometer to show progress against a target? Unless you're raising money to buy a new heating system (and let's be honest - who is?), why have we decided to represent progress with a thermometer?

Visual fundraising tracking

Visual fundraising tracking is simply an alternative to the fundraising thermometer. You start your campaign at zero and represent your progress against a fundraising target by building a picture. As you receive donations, the picture fills up. For example:

  • Adding stars to a night sky
  • Decorating a tree with ribbons or lights
  • Planting flowers in a garden
  • Lighting remembrance candles

Why does it work?

One of the reasons why people don't give to charity is because they think their support won't make a difference. "A gift of £5 doesn't go very far in a charity that needs millions of pounds a year to operate."

As fundraisers, we know that lots of people giving small amounts can raise seriously large amounts of money - our lower level donors may be giving more collectively than any of our charity's major donors! Visual fundraising works because it allows our donors to see that their contribution is part of something much bigger.

Visual fundraising tracking is an ideal way to represent progress against a fundraising target because it:

  • Demonstrates the importance of community. Every person can play a part in creating massive results.
  • Makes people feel good about helping others. It's visually rewarding for donors to choose the exact item they want to reveal on the picture with their gift and creates a strong sense of ownership of their contribution.
  • Creates a sense of urgency. A limited number of items on the page means that donors have to be quick if they want to secure the one that they want, so you're more likely to reach your fundraising target sooner.

Finally, by giving your donors the space to display their own personal message when donating, you enable each donor to tell their own story to inspire the next gift.

So if you're looking for an alternative to a fundraising thermometer, pick one of our FREE visual fundraising templates to get started. We can't wait to see what you create!

UPDATE June 2019

Due to popular demand, we have added an online fundraising thermometer to our ever-growing library of free templates! Click here to see our fundraising thermometer template in action!

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